The commander of New Mexico’s national Guard is demanding an apology from the Army after dozens of his soldiers in a mostly Hispanic unit were ordered to strip to their gym shorts and searched for gang tattoos while on duty in Kuwait. The Army countered that the search procedure was legal, but Brig. General Kenny Montoya, head of the state National Guard, believes ethnicity played a role in the episode—the unit is 55% Hispanic. “I said something wrong was done there, and it was because of race, and I want to make sure it will not happen again.”
The entire episode arose because of an unsubstantiated allegation by a soldier in another unit who complained of gang activity among soldiers of the unit in Kuwait. Montoya sent off a furious letter to the office of the Army chief of staff, saying the “unit was racially targeted and illegally searched for body tattoos just because the unit consists of a large number of Hispanic-surnamed soldiers. An Army CID agent without any credible evidence, and armed only with information about an individual soldier from a different base and in a different unit, made a decision to target my unit.”
What is most fascinating is failure on the part of those conducting the investigation to come up with a single tattoo among the men. I guess if you have seen enough motion pictures about gangs and Hispanics it is only natural to assume all people with Hispanic names are part of the gang culture. I was raised in the Bronx when Jewish gangs were prominent so I guess that made me a criminal.
Information from Military Times